The National Gallery of Canada is now home to a vast collection of 16th- and 17th-century northern European art.
In one of the largest private art donations in Canadian history, Montreal physicians Jonathan Meakins and Jacqueline McClaran have given the Ottawa gallery 258 prints, etchings and woodcuts, including works by Rembrandt, Brueghel and Dürer.
Meakins and McClaran are ardent arts collectors who, over the course of four decades, carefully assembled a trove of Flemish and Dutch drawings and engravings while pursuing successful careers in medicine.
They said they caught the collecting bug after visiting an exhibition of Camille Pissarro prints at the Grand Palais des Champs-Élysées in Paris, and painstakingly acquired what would become the largest privately held collection of northern European prints in Canada.
“It’s a creative act, just like doing an experiment with cells, and that was the driving force,” said Meakins.
WATCH | Montreal couple donates more than 200 works of art to National Gallery
“Delicious” is a word he uses to describe his delight with the glimpses the art provides into everyday life in the Flemish lowlands, including realistic renderings of daily farm chores and rural landscapes, along with more whimsical depictions of high-spirited village festivities and visits to charlatans of years gone by.
They pointed out the meticulous attention to detail and skill revealed in the engravings.
During the pandemic, the couple removed their cherished artworks from the bedroom and living room walls of their Montreal home and shipped them off to to the national gallery so they could be available for all Canadians to see.
The display, called The Collectors’ Cosmos.The Meakins-McClaran Print Collection, is available until Nov. 14.
“The gift is truly astounding,” said the exhibition’s curator Erika Dolphin. “It makes [the gallery’s holdings of Flemish and Dutch prints] the largest and most comprehensive in Canada.”
The couple said giving the artwork to Canadians, and seeing it displayed on the gallery’s walls, have filled them with joy and pride.
“How exciting can life be?” said Meakins. “I mean, I’m 80 and this is an apex.”
“Second only to getting married,” McClaran interjected.
Art show in Minto – Wellington Advertiser
HARRISTON – The Minto Arts Council is hosting its first show of the year at the Minto Art Gallery. Showcasing the Saugeen Artist Guild, the show is entitled Reflections from the Saugeen Artists Guild.
This show features multiple works from over 20 artists and includes a variety of styles and mediums, including oil paintings, watercolours, stained glass, mixed media, encaustic, jewelry, photography and works with polymer clay.
“This is truly a very diverse show and we are so proud to be able to bring this to our community,” gallery officials state.
The show officially opened Sept. 9 and runs until Oct. 2.
The gallery, located at 88 Mill Street on the third floor of the Harriston branch of the Wellington County Library, is open:
– Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6 to 8pm;
– Wednesdays and Fridays from 2 to 4pm; and
– Saturdays, 11am to 1pm.
Library helps kids make art – Sault Star
A free four-week art program for children is being offered by Sault Ste. Marie Public Library.
A PDF lesson will be emailed each week. Youngsters have one week to send a photo of their artwork.
A collage will be created featuring student work.
Register by emailing email@example.com. Mention online art program in the subject line. Mention the child’s name, age and parent email contact.
Lessons start Sept. 28.
'A very fundamental question': Is this the world's oldest example of art? – CTV News
Famous cave art in France, Indonesia and Spain has long been thought to be the oldest of its kind, but a new study sheds light on Tibetan parietal art that is four times older and may have been created by children.
An international team of researchers came together to determine if the hand and footprints discovered on the Tibetan Plateau were indeed art.
To decide if the sequence of hand and footprints were art, the researchers had to first figure out how these prints got there. The series of five handprints and five footprints, the researchers reported, came from two different people, according to a press release.
Given the slope and that it would have been slippery, the research team ruled out that people would have walked or run across the plateau, which in turn ruled out that these sets of prints may have been a result of people falling.
“It would have been a slippery, sloped surface. You wouldn’t really run across it. Somebody didn’t fall like that. So why create this arrangement of prints?” Thomas Urban, research scientist in the College of Arts and Sciences and with the Cornell Tree Ring Laboratory, said in a press release.
Urban assisted the research team led by David Zhang of Guangzhou University and co-authored the study.
The team of researchers used uranium-series dating to date the artwork. They believe that the footprints were created by a seven-year-old, while the handprints were by a 12-year-old. They also suspect that these kids were ancient relatives of Neanderthals known as Denisovans.
But what really determines if these handprints and footprints are art?
“These young kids saw this medium and intentionally altered it. We can only speculate beyond that,” Urban said. “This could be a kind of performance, a live show, like, somebody says, ‘hey, look at me, I’ve made my handprints over these footprints.’”
For this reason, Urban calls for a broader definition of what is considered art in this context, even if it does rub some the wrong way.
“I think we can make a solid case that this is not utilitarian behaviour. There’s something playful, creative, possibly symbolic about this,” said Urban. “This gets at a very fundamental question of what it actually means to be human.”
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